Making Customers Feel Like Old Friends

Maintaining a fiercely loyal fan base with video

Chad Jordan is somewhat of a local celebrity. In the city of Lansing, Mich., Chad is well known for his marketing skills and ability to make the region’s best popcorn.

But Chad didn’t start at the top of his industry. Through years of perfecting his culinary skills and using clever marketing tactics, Chad has built a fan base around his brand that keeps coming back for more and more popcorn.

As Chad built his business, he found himself connecting with fans through social media. While he tweets constantly and regularly updates Cravings’ Facebook page, Chad felt the written word only went so far. So Chad began incorporating video into his marketing plans.

Keeping their attention

Audience engagement is a pillar of any marketing plan. But tweeting and posting and blogging only get marketers and business owners so far.

“People consume information in different ways,” said Chad. “So I wanted to differentiate myself from competitors by building close relationships with my customers. Video turned out to be a more natural way for me to do so.”

With the help of a local video production company, Chad started making videos for his customers to watch and share. Chad could have described new products and upcoming specials through social media and his blog. But with video, he can actually show his customers what to expect — and they get to see and hear Chad as well.

“I consider myself a decent writer,” said Chad. “But with video, I can speak what is on my mind without having to worry about where the comma goes.”

By showing his customers who he is, Chad has developed a more personal brand for his company that goes beyond delicious popcorn. Rather than 140 characters blasted out to all of his followers, Chad strives to make videos as personable as possible, almost as if he is talking to just one person.

Producing videos without burning the popcorn

As a small business owner, Chad has to play a number of different roles. But producing videos can also take a lot of time. Chad needed a simple way to make high-quality videos, so he turned to Camtasia.

“I bought Camtasia and Snagit to start producing quick videos on my own,” said Chad. “I now use my video production company for more involved video projects and produce quick video updates for customers on my own.”

Those quick video updates include showing off new products and upcoming specials. Chad generally keeps things simple by sitting close to the camera in a quiet space. He gathers the inventory he wants to show off, including specialty sodas and bags of popcorn, and shares his thoughts on each. It’s simple, quick and personal.

“I know that my customers will get excited about certain products I carry,” said Chad. “So I like to show them that their favorite soda is back in stock while sharing my thoughts on the product with new customers. I can do all of that in a matter of minutes.”

Prior to using video, Chad had to take time to write down his thoughts before formatting, editing and sharing them on his blog. While a comma is nothing to lose sleep over, it still took time out of Chad’s day to write up a post. It also took some of the fun out of his updates.

Being up close and personal in a video allows Chad to say what he wants to say without the added pressure of the grammar police hunting him down.

It's about the long-term plan

Chad notes that his videos are part of a long-term plan. While he can make quick updates as needed, his real goal is to build a video library for his customers. When new customers find him on Facebook or see his videos on YouTube, they can get to know him before they ever set foot in his store.

“By making more and more videos, you learn how to produce them more efficiently and develop a style,” said Chad. “You get to the point where you make videos that really communicate who you are with your customers.”

For Chad, the videos are all about the personal relationship he builds with customers. He notes that it’s important to find out what you can do “to make your customers feel like they’ve known you for years.”

Chad also mentions the importance of building loyalty for his brand rather than focusing on one or two products his store offers. That way, his customers know and trust that products from Cravings are quality and taste great, be it popcorn, specialty sodas or more.

With the help of social media, TechSmith software and years of experience, Chad has built a fan base ready and willing to try even his wildest popcorn creations. But more importantly, Chad has found a way to make thousands of customers feel like old friends and long-time patrons of their favorite little popcorn shop.


Cravings Popcorn

Location: Lansing, MI
Small Business

Chad Jordan has spent years building his business and carefully curating his brand. Now he uses Camtasia videos to connect with his customers on a personal level.

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People consume information in different ways, so I wanted to differentiate myself from competitors by building close relationships with my customers. Video turned out to be a more natural way for me to do so.

- Chad Jordan,
owner, Cravings Gourmet Popcorn
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